Adverse Childhood Experiences, Leaded Gasoline, and Adult Health

Speaker: Esme Fuller-Thomson

Date: December 1st

Time: 10 AM – 12 PM

Location: Health Sciences Building (155 College Street, Toronto ON), Room HS 108


Dr. Fuller-Thompson will present on two topics. 1) People are aware that childhood abuse casts a long shadow with regard to adult depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Less is known about the link between early adversities and physical health in adulthood. Dr. Fuller-Thomson’s research shows a strong link between childhood abuse and many adult physical health outcomes including cancer, migraine, arthritis, and heart disease. She will discuss her findings and some of the possible pathways through which early adversities may result in chronic health conditions. 2) There has been an unexpected and substantial decline in the past twenty years in the incidence of dementia, hip fracture, hearing loss and macular degeneration.  Esme will present some preliminary ideas on the potential role that the phase out of leaded gasoline may have contributed to these trends.

Professor Esme Fuller-Thomson is the director of the Institute for Life Course & Aging at the University of Toronto.  She holds the Sandra Rotman Endowed Chair in Social Work at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and is cross-appointed to the Department of Family & Community Medicine and Faculty of Nursing. Esme’s 125 peer-reviewed publications have examined a wide range of social determinants of health including the association between early adversities, such as childhood physical and sexual abuse, and adult health outcomes. Most recently she has also been investigating whether the phase out of leaded gasoline could be contributing to the unexpected decrease in the incidence of dementia and other chronic health problems. Her work has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, and Cancer. Her work has reached a broad audience through coverage in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, Huffington Post, The Atlantic and CNN.